Discover Creative Ways to Hide Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
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Discover Creative Ways to Hide Your Outdoor HVAC Unit


Let’s face it, your outdoor HVAC unit is not the most attractive feature on your property. Also known as the condensing unit, the outdoor component of your HVAC system is installed where it is for optimal performance, not for how it meshes with your landscaping design. Fortunately there are ways to make the outdoor unit less obtrusive. Here’s how.


The simplest way to hide the outdoor HVAC unit is to plant around it, but be careful what you plant. Choose ornamental grasses that don’t grow too tall and that are easily managed. Some smaller-sized shrubs are fine, but avoid bushes that might interfere when your HVAC tech works on the unit, like thorny rosebushes or prickly holly. Keep shrubs trimmed back so there’s a 2- to 3-foot clear space around the unit for good ventilation.

Do not plant trees or shrubs that are likely to drop seeds, fruit, or debris that might clog the venting around the unit’s metal cage. Plant debris can close the vents and restrict airflow around the unit. Good airflow ensures that the condenser can exhaust heat properly.


Erecting a fence around the condensing unit is an easy way to hide it. Leave at least 2 feet around the condenser and an entrance/exit to the unit for your technician. Whatever material you choose for the fence should permit airflow. Check with your local zoning authority to make sure you comply with all regulations for fencing.

Building a dedicated, well-ventilated structure around the unit is another option. A utility closet, constructed with materials that harmonize well with your landscaping, could be erected to house tools as well as the condensing unit. The roof of the structure should be at least 5 to 6 feet above the unit and well-ventilated.

A trellis is another easy solution for keeping the unit out of sight. Plant attractive vines such as clematis, passionflower, or trumpet vine to grow up the trellis.

For more on how to hide an outdoor HVAC unit, contact Roth Heating and Cooling of Portland. We’ve been providing quality customer service since 1976.

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